[quote=Lmaoboat]I know this is primary story driven game, but I think cheaper, more accessible ships and equipment could help with some of the more common criticism of Sunless Sea, the main reason being that something that noticeably improves the capabilities of someone’s character is one of the most effective ways to reward them and make feel as if they’ve made some progress.[/quote]I’m not sure Failbetter Games is interested in providing more accessible ships and equipment. I think the game is designed with the intention that combat is generally to be avoided at all costs until you can upgrade to a Corvette with better deck and forward guns. That being said, once you get over the hump of surviving long enough to uncover enough map and learn voyage routes that have a good profit margin, accessibility tends to accelerate significantly.
[quote=Lmaoboat]I think the first thing that could be done is given each background a starting ship that plays differently from the others, for example, Iron would could start with no deck gun but two forward slots for some more riskier but deadlier combat, or Veils could start with some sort of enhanced smuggling capability.[/quote]Two guns of any sort on a starter ship is unbalanced. I think a more balanced approach would be to give a slightly better gun, i.e. the Denunciation, for the soldier and new Auxiliary or Bridge items that give appropriate moderate bonuses for the other background selections.
[quote=Lmaoboat]From there players could be given access to a wider variety of ship equipment for various character levels from stores, story rewards, and salvaging from defeated enemies, which would help bridge that large gulf where you’re spending the majority of the game with the starter ship and equipment.[/quote]There are already several storylines that give players unique equipment (Awakened Sea of the Red Science which can evolve into Memento Mori, Serpentine Engine, Black Icarus). Are you thinking of something similar to those but somewhat simpler to obtain for weaker items? One way they could do this is by changing your default officer’s storyline so that resolving it gives you such an item (e.g. instead of my cook just running to shore and saying bye bye).
[quote=Lmaoboat]IEngines are something I think would need to be looked at first due to obfuscated the way speed, fuel efficiency, and weight interact that confuses new players.[/quote]You’ll find a lot of players agree on this. I’m not sure we even have a detailed understanding of how these factors interplay with one another (I know I don’t).
[quote=Lmaoboat]I think they could be binary weight ranges to determine what sizes of ships they should go in[/quote]That would address a lot of the disappointment that players feel when they find larger engines to be a net loss for their ship.
[quote=Lmaoboat]and then given a wider variety of capabilities, like full power duration, turn rate, noise reduction, fuel efficiency, weather slowdown resistance, and so on.[/quote]Fuel efficiency already exists for two engines as does noise reduction for one (from a practical perspective). Turn rate is dependent on the ship and shouldn’t be affected by the engine. Given how infrequently it factors into the game, I don’t know if any player would ever choose weather slow down resistance over fuel efficiency. I guess full power duration could be useful for some players.
[quote=Lmaoboat]The higher end glim lamps that don’t affect your stealth are pretty cool, but overall I think they’re too expensive for the benefits they provide.[/quote]Awakened Sea of the Red Science is not expensive or particularly hard to obtain.
[quote=Lmaoboat]They, too, could use more variety with capabilities like have narrower but faster firing solution[/quote]A Lump of Blue Scintillack instantly resets your firing solution. Anything that boosts mirrors, like Awakened Sea of the Red Science reduces firing solution time. Actually reducing the firing solution time would be unbalanced once you realize what the equivalent in Mirror Skill would be to achieve the same result.
[quote=Lmaoboat]varying terror reduction and fuel consumption, or more powerful ones that slow or slightly damage enemies caught in the beam.[/quote]Allowing different ship slots to affect similar things in the game can lead to balance issues from stacking. The avoidance of this is probably deliberate on the part of Failbetter, and even if it’s not intentional, it’s good game design to avoid this for that reason.
[quote=Lmaoboat]Weapons are pretty good, I think, apart from how long it takes to get a ship with anything other than a deck slot, which leaves you with little to experiment with.[/quote]A Corvette does not take that long to obtain. Some players don’t think that anything other than a Cruiser or Frigate is worth upgrading but that’s their loss. The Corvette makes for a good upgrade and lets you handle anything in the game other than objectives that require you to move 20 units of X from point A top point B. You can still cover a lot of story and make a lot of echoes before getting a second upgrade to finish off those objectives.
[quote=Lmaoboat]Combat, while not as big an issue, is something I think could do with a lot of improvement. I think one step toward this would be to allow players to safely use full power to the engines as long as they keep an eye on the engine temperature. My reasoning for this is that you could have combat built around the idea of players having a reliable way to dodge[/quote]You already do have a reliable way to dodge if you have better ship and engine than the ones you start off with. If the game is designed to not make combat particularly viable for most of the content until you get a Corvette with good guns then this is probably something that the developers will not want to pursue. I guess it all depends on what their intentions are regarding where combat viability should really begin.